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John McFall had a career in teaching before being elected to Parliament as a Labour MP to represent the Scottish constituency of Dumbarton in the 1987 general election. He became a distinguished and outspoken Parliamentary expert on the UK banking system. In 2010 he stood down as an MP, following 23 years’ service. He was created a life peer as Baron McFall of Alcluith of Dumbarton on Dumbartonshire.
Since retiring from the House of Commons McFall has remained at the forefront of financial matters. After taking London’s top banking executives to task over their bonuses and putting forward far-reaching financial reform ideas as an MP, John stays close to banking/ financial issues and continues to share his sharp and well informed opinions on the future for savings and pensions.
John McFall held various positions in his parliamentary career, including Opposition Whip and Opposition Spokesman for Scottish Affairs. He also sat on Select Committees dealing with Defence, Sittings of the House and Information. After the Labour election victory in 1997 John first served as a Government Whip and then as Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office, where he remained until powers were devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In 2001 John was elected Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee and re-elected in 2005. The Committee conducted searching high-profile inquiries into the banking crisis which brought to the fore evidence of an excessive bonus culture, the lack of banking qualifications among many top bankers and poor oversight of the banking sector by the UK Financial Services Authority. He was sharply critical of private equity firms and bank executives: he accused the Bank of England of having been “asleep on the job” before the financial crisis hit.
During the credit crisis and ensuing banking collapse, McFall became a straight-talking and authoritative opinion-leader on financial reform. The McFall Committee’s final report, delivered just before the last election, was notable for its open-minded ideas for breaking up the big UK banks, and its willingness to see the UK “go it alone” on banking reform. John McFall won a prestigious Consumer Champion Award from Which? for his resolute campaigning for transparent and robust financial services. He remains a strong and effective voice on what has gone wrong in the UK and wider banking sector, and has clear ideas on what needs to be done to put things right.
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